Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer

Mission Summary

Designed to capture high-resolution images of Earth, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, or ASTER, instrument is one of five instruments aboard NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument's data are used to create detailed maps of land surface temperature, emissivity, reflectance and elevation on Earth.

Images taken by the ASTER instrument also provide detailed views of the effects of global climate change and extreme weather on Earth's landforms and topography.

Mission Events

June 29, 2009: NASA and Japan release the ASTER Global Digital Elevation Model, a digital topographic map of Earth covering more of the planet than ever before.

Key Discoveries

ASTER has gathered high-resolution images of landforms and topography affected by major weather events on Earth, including tsunamis, earthquakes and floods, as well as land changes due to gobal climate change.

Scientific Instrument(s)

- Visible and near-infrared (VNIR) telescope
- Shortwave infrared (SWIR) telescope
- Thermal infrared (TIR) telescope

Acronym: ASTER
Type: Instrument
Status: Current
Launch Date: December 18, 1999
10:57 a.m. (18:57 UTC)
Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
Target: Earth
Asteroid 2014 EC Flyby of Earth on March 6, 2014 Small Asteroid Will Pass Earth Safely on Thursday

› Read more

Asteroid 2014 DX110 Flyby of Earth on March 5, 2014 Asteroid Will Safely Pass Closer Than Moon Wednesday

› Read more

Asteroid 2006 DP14 in Radar Image Radar Images of near-Earth Asteroid 2006 DP14

› Read more